Recently, Dennis Prager had a great program entitled "Roosevelt and the Depression." He interviewed Amity Shlaes who wrote The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression. I recommend that you listen to the interview.
However, what caught my attention was Mr. Prager's concluding thoughts. He was contradicting the view that expanding government power solves our problems. I thought his insights were terrific!
Here are a couple of excerpts of his comments--again in the context of growing government to address unemployment, health care, and revenue (taxes):
I have come to realize that there are two terrible things that tempt any human in terms of a society and the way in which we govern ourselves.And a bit later:
One is to fix things immediately without asking “What’s next?”
“Let’s fix it now and not worry about the long term results.” Sure if you make an income tax, you could pay for more things. It was a 1% income tax when it was first passed. And now look at it today.
Well... So what does the left say? “The government is not big enough.”
We haven’t solved our problems, and the left’s answer is: “Well then, let’s make government even bigger.”
I am deeply concerned that fellow conservatives can make statements like these--and then turn around to promote the idea of a national identification card. And the folks at Townhall do promote a national id card: (here, here, and here.)
I want to say to Mr. Prager (and Mr. Medved), "After we implement a national identification infrastructre, 'What next? What, indeed, are the long-term results of implementing national id?'"
You may be trying to solve the problem of illegal immigration, but what you are doing is electronically "herding" all Americans into a massive and powerful expansion of government.
It doesn't take much imagination to answer that question. I can see how a national id card will make it easier for the central government to implement and enforce arbitrary rules over the lives of American citizens.
Why is it that conservatives cannot see that a national id card is not consistent with America's freedom, heritage, and Constitution?
Surely we can think through ways to fight illegal immigration and terror without:
1. A massive increase in government power,
2. An undermining of federalism,
3. An undermining of the 4th amendment,
4. An increased ability to track Americans in real-time,
5. An erosion of the presumption of innocence,
6. A radically increased ability to enforce arbitrary (future) rules,
7. Federal approval on whether you and I can earn money.
These things, I believe, are the long-term results. The "What Next?" effect.
I’m all for stemming the tide of illegal immigration. But I don’t want to throw our freedoms into the dump to do it.
There is nothing “conservative” about promoting a national id card.
If our friends at Townhall.com wish to promote one, they should abandon talking about their belief in “limited government.”